a fence for my family
The American Dream: a house, a minivan, a yard for the kids to play in. For the first four years of our marriage we rented abodes with either a small, shared yard or no yard at all. Joseph, my late crawler and late walker, didn't seem to mind this much.
During his first summer up on two legs, we visited a different park every day and utilized the little patch of grass that was "ours" behind our rented townhouse. But the townhouse, though newly-built and decently made, sat in a rough part of town. And the lush green grass that surrounded it came with a price: no fence. That left us at the mercy of our neighbors--of which we had plenty, since the townhouse was one of six in a row. But much worse, it left us exposed to foot traffic wandering up from the street. Foot traffic that included stumbling drunks, poor souls asking for money for bogus charities, and even a guy who pounded on our door on election night two years ago, cursing and threatening us for having (the losing party's) political bumper sticker on our car.
The summer he turned one, Amby made it quite obvious he would be neither a late walker nor would he be content visiting parks once a day. No. He wanted to be outside in the morning to watch the squirrels come out. He wanted to be outside at lunch to play in the sprinklers. He wanted to be outside before dinner to see if he could run away from momma and turn a corner before she noticed.
We needed a yard. More accurately, we needed a fence.
When we toured our current home, we asked the owner about the gorgeous wrought-iron fence around the backyard.
"Oh yeah," he said, "that wasn't here when I bought it. But my wife has a little puppy, and she insisted I get a fence up. So I did."
Ha, oh mister. You think you built that fence for the dog. You didn't know it, but you were really building it for Joseph and Amby.
We've been in the house six months, probably through the worst weather of the year, and yet we're in the backyard nearly every day. Leaf piles, snow piles, stomp rocketing, bubble blowing, dirt digging, mowing and edging and weeding. That fence gives us so much--a little slice of life protected from intrusion.
It's said that high fences make good neighbors. They also make for happy boys.
Linking up with Cari for Theme Thursday and all others on the fence. Ha. And... (I'm writing seven posts in seven days this week. To check out other bloggers who are doing the same, see the list here.)